The importance of just being there

I have always been of the belief that when words fail (and in some circumstances not even words can help) then just being there is enough.
Unfortunately it took the events of the past two weeks to reinforce this belief but I am glad that it did.
So many people have difficulty in expressing what they feel.
They believe that they just don’t have the words or the situation makes them feel uncomfortable so they just pull back and don’t communicate at all.
This can be disheartening for the person who needs them at this time.

What I have learned is that just sitting beside someone and holding their hand can work wonders.
Offering to do the dishes or cook a meal helps as well.
Not everyone has the ability to counsel.
Not everyone feels comfortable in talking about things. Therefore it is important to find a way to express your empathy in other ways.

Just being there and saying “Hey, I’m here if you need me” is often all that a person wants to hear.
Cracking bad jokes or sweeping the floor may be all that is required.
Clearing the table after a meal or quietly wiping away a tear may be the best that you can do.
Or bringing flowers and chatting about things that are far removed from the situation may be just what the doctor ordered.

When someone is lost and feeling as if their world is about to end they need to know that it will be alright.
You don’t have to sweep in with all the answers and make everything right.
Sometimes you just have to be there.

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42 thoughts on “The importance of just being there

    1. The number of people who called and just left messages for my kids was amazing. That was all they needed to do. I passed their messages on and it was comforting to them.
      I think when we are at our lowest that a sense of community is what is important.

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  1. Very well said Sue. Thanks for making us feel comfortable in what we can and cannot do when such a crisis occurs. I was lost for any comforting words but having the road map you have provided above let’s us all know what we can do instead of shying away because it’s too uncomfortable or we feel inadequate. xx

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  2. I hope to experience that feeling soon. Lately I have found people to be distant, maybe you are right in that they don’t know what to say to me. It would be nice if they asked anyway. I miss people, I sometimes wonder if they miss me.

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    1. Wow. You have a double whammy of mental illness and loss of a child. That just floors people and they have no idea how to cope with it.
      But you need to realise that you are not to blame for either (regardless of what is said).
      Hugs to you. This too shall pass and life will go on once more.

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  3. Yes, I have found this to be comforting as well. I read somewhere that if someone is grieving, it is better to ask “what can I do?” instead of saying “let me know if there is anything I can do.” It rang true to me. So Sue, what can I do for you? Here’s a

    ❤ ❤ ❤ HUG! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Mary

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    1. That is true Mary. Many who are grieving have their heads all over the place. I found when I was stressing that having the GG say to me “Do you want me to do xxxx”? was much easier to handle.

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  4. Thank you so much for your thoughtful, gentle, and kind words to the ones who fail to express with words. Sometimes you just have to be there… so well said, Sue!
    My thoughts are with you. Hugs ❤

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  5. Hmm…on Facebook, I just shared a post from Stand UP2 Cancer (my favorite all inclusive cancer cause–or is it group?). Anyway, it was a 4 point post about how to help, and what to say when a friend or loved one has just been diagnosed with cancer. One thing I read which sounded very for those dealing with grief or battling an illness. Don’t ask what you can do, just do it. Pick a specific task such as going to the market, and do it for them. And you’re right, just being there to listen without giving advice is the most helpful.

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  6. Some people are very uncomfortable having anything to do with deep feelings. I’m only uncomfortable around a few family members wih my feelings so I have a tendency to withdraw verbally but I hope I show I care in other ways even if it’s not the way they want.

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      1. I agree. I do think that when we’re grieving our sensitivity to those things escalates and that’s when (even though it’s hard for me to do) it’s best to remember that people do what they feel most comfortable with and usually it’s their issue and not ours.

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    1. I believe that so many people are uncomfortable and are so uncertain just what to say because words are totally inadequate.
      We had an old school friend of my son just come to visit. He sat beside him, told jokes and was just there. My son loved him for it.

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